Indians have an open mindset about new brands and new tech, says TCL India’s marketing head Justin Zhong
To learn more about TCL and the plans it has for India, we spoke to the marketing head of TCL India, Justin Zhong.
TCL just launched two products in the India market today. The TCL P725, a smart TV that comes with Android 11 (the first of its kind in India) and also comes with a video camera attached that can be used for video calls on the TV. The other product is the Healthy Smart AC Ocarina Series. You can read more about both the products here.
To learn more about TCL and the plans it has for India, we spoke to the marketing head of TCL India, Justin Zhong. Here are some excerpts from his chat with HT Tech.
1. Tell us about the products you are launching today and how they differ from others in the market.
Today we have launched two innovative products. First, I would like to talk about our TV P725, which is right now India's First 4K HDR TV with Android 11 and Video Call Camera. If we talk about other brands, the Android system is 9 or 10, but we are making a global-first launch of the latest Android 11 system, that too India is the first country to receive it. Additionally, most other TVs don't include a video camera for calls, and we are launching the TV with the video call camera in the package.
The other product is our Healthy Smart AC Ocarina Series that comes with IoT connection (works with Google Assistant, Alexa and the TCL Home app). As the name suggests, the technology of the AC focuses on the health part, which is the demand of the current times. B.I.G Care & Sterilisation Pro technology comes with a bacteria eliminating rate of 98.66%. Additionally, Gentle Breeze enables the air to be sent through 1422 micro holes sized 2-3 mm and be dispersed in a soft laminar flow, which avoids unpleasant direct airflow coming straight on the body, the cooling aspect is pleasant.
2. What plans do you have for the Indian market this year?
Overall, our aim is to continue to expand better in the Indian market. First with our launching of products with latest technologies (Mini LED, 8K, Google TV), secondly, partnering with local factories to support government's “Make in India”Initiative and to connect with the audience as a brand and continue to do some sports marketing by sponsoring Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
3. How have you seen the Indian market change over the pandemic and how has that changed your plans?
Indeed the lockdown brought in a lot of disruptions, like the work from home aspect, social distancing. And in turns everything is going digital rapidly. Brands are all shifting online to realise faster customer education and communication. So as a global brand, we also adapted ourselves quickly to this trend and started doing product launches online, doing more digital campaigns, doing more video and digital customer education.
4. How is India as a market different from the others you operate in?
The Indian market is a very dynamic one and people have an open mindset about new brands and new technologies. People in India care about brand impact and brand image as a whole, that also makes us pay more attention in building our brand image in a 360-degree manner - not only marketing, not only product, but also after-sales service, the CSR activities - these all contribute to the building and elevation of brand image in customer's heart.
5. Do you manufacturing, marketing processes differ for India as compared to other regions?
In India we have TCL CSOT's biggest overseas manufacturing plant built in Hyderabad. We want to get to a 100% Make it India model and supply from our own factory. Due to the pandemic this has gotten a little delayed and the factory is expected to commence operation by the second half of this year.
6. How do Indian consumers differ from consumers in other markets? Have you witnessed a significant difference in their buying habits and preferences?
During this pandemic, we've discovered one big notable change among Indian consumers, that is the usage of video calling/conference. According to a survey done by Hootsuite and We are Social, among all major countries, Indian internet users ranked No.1 in terms of expected frequency of using video conferencing even after pandemic. That's why we wanted to equip our new product with a video camera, to help more people enjoy a convenient way of video calling from home.